The United States government will now use Facebook and Twitter to issue terrorism alerts. It’s also ditching the old color codes that have been in use for so many years.
The Associated Press has obtained a new Homeland Security draft detailing new procedures that will see low (green), guarded (blue), elevated (yellow), high (amber) and severe (red) replaced with ‘elevated’ and ‘imminent.’
According to the AP, terrorism warnings could also make it to social networking sites. The document details that the new terror alerts would also be published online using Facebook and Twitter "when appropriate.” As Facebook and Twitter become an increasingly common source of news when it comes to major events, it makes sense. However, federal, state and local leaders would be notified in advance of the alerts being published to social networking sites.
Expected to come into play starting April 27, the new system classes an "elevated" alert as a warning of a credible threat against the U.S. without specifying timing or targets. An “imminent” alert warns about a credible, specific and impending terrorist threat or an on-going attack against the United States. These new classifications of alerts will also come with expiration dates. An ‘imminent’ alert will expire after seven days, while an ‘elevated’ alert would last for 30 days before expiring. Both can be extended past the expiration date.
The idea behind the new alerts is to make things easier to understand. The Homeland security document obtained by the Associated Press also reveals the procedures that must be followed when deciding whether or not a terrorist threat is serious enough to warrant issuing an alert.